E. D. PARSE. Springfield has never known a more efficient and capable mayor than Mr. Parse, who by his honorable, capable and upright career as a public servant, has won a place in the annals of the county. He has proved himself eminently worthy the confidence reposed in him by all classes, and that as an honorable, straightforward citizen his reputation is not merely local but extends over, a wide stretch of country. Genial, courteous and of exceedingly pleasing address, upright in his dealings, fearless in the discharge of his duties and of exemplary habits, he has the respect and esteem of all who know him. Mr. Parse came originally from the Empire State, born in Chenango County, near the town of Lincklaen, March 26, 1846, and was the eldest of a family of three children born to the marriage of Dwight and S. F. (Freeman) Parse. The father was also born in Chenango County, N. Y., and was the son of Jeslice and Rebecca (Smith) Parse, who were among the early settlers or Chenango Countv. Jeslice was the inventor of what is now called the Deland soda, or saleratus, which is the oldest brand of that goods known to the trade. The grandfather was an old-line Whig in his political views at first, but later became a stanch Republican. He held the office of justice of the peace for years and was a well-to-do practical business man. In Fairport, N. Y., this worthy pioneer passed away when eighty-six years of age, after a long life of usefulness. He was a descendant of an old Colonial family and our subject's great-grandfather changed the name from Pierce to Parse in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Jeslice Parse reared a family of six children, all of whom grew to mature years and are now married. Dwight Parse, the father of our subject, was born about 1824, and his early life was passed in the saleratus factory of his father. When a young man he made a trip through the West, but afterward married and settled down in Chenango County, where he remained until the breaking out of the Rebellion. He was engaged in manufacturing but in connection also dealt in tobacco, cigars, etc., and was possessed of excellent business acumen. During the struggle between the North and South he enlisted in the One Hundred and Fourteenth Regiment (N. Y.) and remained thus until taken prisoner. He died at Camp ----, Tex., while a prisoner of war. For many years he was a member of the I. O. O. F., was active in politics, and was a public-spirited citizen. The mother of our subject was born in Chenango County, 1826, and was the daughter of Samuel Freeman, who was one of the early educators of Chenango County and a man of much learning. The latter was born in Connecticut and was also of Colonial stock. Mrs. Parse was the youngest of seven children. Her death occurred on March 13, 1891. Besides our subject she was the mother of two children, Hattie and Ella, both of whom died in early womanhood. The youthful days of E. D. Parse were spent in Chenango County and he supplemented a common-school education by attending Norwich Academy, where be received a careful business education. Later he clerked in a store of an uncle and in 1873 came to Springfield, where he bought out Mr. J. M. Daling and started in the hardware business with J. T. Gray. Later they took in as partner Mr. Burlingame and the firm was then known as Parse, Gray & Burlingame. Afterward Mr.---- Bechtell came into the business and the title was changed to Parse, Bechtell & Co. The present company, known as Parse Buggy & Implement Company, was organized in January, 1891, and is doing a flourishing business. They have an interest in the Springfield Nursery and Fruit Farm and they also own large land interests, in Illinois, principally in Greene County. Mr. Parse has adhered to the principles of the Republican party from an early age and on this ticket was elected to the office of city treasurer in 1885. Previous to that he had held the office of justice of the peace for some time. In 1890 he was elected to the office of mayor of Springfield and he has now devoted three years of faithful service in the interests of that city, and is an energetic, enterprising and public-spirited citizen. He is president of the Equable Building & Loan Association and is also president of the Springfield Fruit & Nursery Company. Socially he is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, Gates of the Temple Lodge, No. 422. He has held all the offices in the Blue Lodge, and several in the Chapter and in the Commandery. He is also a member of the A. O. U. W. Mr. Parse and family attend the First Congregational Church. He was married in his native County in 1872, to Miss C. M. Gray, a daughter of A. H. Gray, of Chenango County, N. Y. She was born in 1848 and two children are the fruit of her marriage, Arthur A. J. and Alexander Dwight, the former now attending a select school and the latter in Drury College. Mrs. Parse is a lady of more than ordinary intelligence.
Springfield-Greene County Library